Community Service Dominant Theme at AYF Convention

Delegates From Across Western Region Gather to Determine Course of New Fiscal Year

GLENDALE, CA- The Armenian Youth Federation – Western Region concluded its three-day Annual Convention this past weekend, as nearly 60 delegates from 14 chapters convened at AYF Camp. Representatives reviewed events and developments of the past year and set the groundwork for the activities of the coming fiscal year.

The dominant theme discussed during the Convention was serving the needs of our communities, both locally and internationally. Exploratory bodies were created to assess the feasibility of opening new AYF chapters in the growing Armenian communities of California and regions in other states. Additionally, new and more ambitious community service projects and outreach initiatives were created.

“It’s important for us to have our finger on the pulse of Armenians so we, as an organization, can serve their needs and help fight their fights,” said Hollywood Musa Dagh Chapter representative Maria Maadanian.

The AYF’s Youth Corps program was another major highlight of the Convention as members voted to expand the program to a second day-camp in addition to Camp Gyumri, which has operated every summer since 2007. There was an overwhelming consensus in the meeting for the need to further direct AYF activities toward the homeland and expand the success of Youth Corps to other regions throughout Armenia.

Joining the elected delegates were representatives from the ARF Badanegan Central Council, AYF Camp Management Board, ARF Youth Board, and the ARF Western Region Central Committee—with its newly appointed advisor to the AYF, Shant Baboujian. Also in attendance was the outgoing ARF CC advisor, Aram Kaloustian, who addressed the meeting stressing the importance of institutional memory: “Our new generations will lead the future by expanding the work done today with professionalism, and by institutionalizing our projects and activities.”

The Convention concluded with the election of the 2010-2011 AYF Central Executive. The seven person body consists of members from across California and will serve to govern the administrative and organizational aspects of the AYF. The body will consist of the following members: Arek Santikian, Caspar Jivalagian, Patil Aslanian, David Arakelyan, Anya Agopian, Berj Parseghian, and Vache Thomassian.

Speaking on behalf of the newly elected body, Chairperson Arek Santikian said, “The ideas and analysis that our region’s membership expressed this weekend will set the direction for the AYF’s future activities. It is clear that as the leading youth organization in our region, we must work harder to serve the needs of our communities locally and to strengthen our ties with our communities in Armenia.”

Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization. With chapters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the AYF actively works to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of all Armenian youth.

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